SmartDrive Systems introduced the SmartDrive Distracted Driving Index, a quarterly benchmark of commercial fleet driving distraction, providing fleet safety professionals with a way to measure ongoing cause, effect, and change in driving distraction so they can effectively work with their drivers to improve safety.
The SmartDrive Distracted Driving Index evaluates more than 25,000 commercial drivers, gauging distraction as a percentage of total measured driving time. For Q3 2009, the SmartDrive Distracted Driving Index shows:
Distraction rate = 17.9% (down from 19.3% in Q2 2009)
Top five distractions and percentage of driving time being exhibited:
- Talking/listening on mobile phone/handheld= 4.5%
- Smoking= 2.7%
- Beverage= 2.5%
- Object in hand= 2.4%
- Food= 2.0%
The next update to the index will be published at the end of Q4 2009 and will highlight changes in percentage and cause of driver distraction.
Fleets that actively use the SmartDrive Measured Safety Program to coach their drivers to a higher-level of safety performance see dramatic decreases in distraction rates. Through Q3, SmartDrive customers show an overall distraction rate of 7.2%, a 62% reduction from the 17.9% benchmark index.
Because text messaging has such a dramatic multiplier effect, SmartDrive will immediately begin to monitor and quantify text messaging behavior separately from other mobile phone usage, providing even greater accuracy in the index.